JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass review: Brawny soundbar brings theater thump home

The JBL Bar two.1 Deep Bass keeps things basic. It is really a single soundbar and wi-fi subwoofer combo with Bluetooth streaming. There is certainly no extravagant movie like the Roku Sensible Soundbar or the flawed JBL Url Bar, no multiroom audio like the Sonos Beam, no crafted-in Alexa or Google Assistant like, […]

The JBL Bar two.1 Deep Bass keeps things basic. It is really a single soundbar and wi-fi subwoofer combo with Bluetooth streaming. There is certainly no extravagant movie like the Roku Sensible Soundbar or the flawed JBL Url Bar, no multiroom audio like the Sonos Beam, no crafted-in Alexa or Google Assistant like, well, rather a lot just about every other speaker these times. As an alternative it just appears great — in substantial component for the reason that of, you guessed it, deep bass.


  • Dynamic and thorough movie audio
  • Large subwoofer goes deep
  • Two HDMI ports incorporate overall flexibility

Do not Like

  • Not as great with songs
  • No surround or Virtual:X processing
  • Sparse audio controls

The JBL puts much more bombast in your Tv viewing than both of its under-$three hundred level of competition I’ve reviewed not long ago, particularly the Polk Signa S3 ($250 at Finest Acquire) and the Vizio V21 ($one hundred eighty at Finest Acquire). The bigger sub presents the JBL an outstanding dynamic selection, which is most handy with blockbuster flicks. What this soundbar lacks in refinement and ambiance, it compensates with pure brawn.

Although the JBL Bar two.1 Deep Bass may well not be as great a offer as the Vizio V21, it unquestionably kicks much more butt. If you have some more money on-hand from not going to the flicks any much more, and you crave that theater thump, this soundbar is the up coming-finest detail.

Modest bar, huge sub

Inspite of having a similar name, the JBL Bar two.1 Deep Bass is different from (and isn’t going to switch) the previously JBL Bar two.1, and it provides various options together with a new sub and less difficult distant control. The main speaker is smaller, a popsicle adhere-formed, 28-inch bar clad in the company’s customary gunmetal grey. It has a established of controls on major of for quantity, energy and source, and the grill-included entrance includes an LED readout which is fairly straightforward to understand, specially in comparison to Vizio’s.


Ty Pendlebury/CNET

While some some soundbars include things like Chromecast or AirPlay Wi-Fi streaming, the JBL is restricted to Bluetooth for taking part in songs from your telephone. It also has optical electronic, two HDMI inputs (a single with ARC) and Dolby Digital decoding. The main soundbar’s speakers comprise four comprehensive-selection drivers and two 1-inch tweeters. 

As you’d guess from the name, the wi-fi subwoofer is a monster. It is really nine inches sq. and fourteen.6 inches tall with a rear-mounted port, houses a 6.5-inch driver and looks not compared with the new Xbox Series X


Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The control plan is too bare-bones for my flavor. The distant has almost nothing to change at very first glance, just the subwoofer degree and quantity. There are no conventional audio modes like Motion picture, Songs and Voice, which I uncover handy on other bars when listening to various sorts of content. 

You can make a single method improve but it truly is not straightforward. The soundbar is established in “smart” method by default, which boasts “prosperous audio consequences.” To convert this method off  you have to push and keep the mute button until eventually “TOGGLE” appears on the display screen, then push Quantity Up. The display screen will then browse “OFF SMARTMODE.” Sadly the smart method will have interaction all over again if you convert the soundbar off, so until you want to go by that system just about every time you’re rather a lot caught with it. 

How does it audio?

Speakers are restricted by the rules of physics — smaller drivers are unable to reproduce the comprehensive audio spectrum — so soundbars fill the ensuing hole in the base midrange in a range of approaches. The JBL compensates by adding some existence sparkle to its hefty bass response, which aids increase the intelligibility of dialog as well as the impact of detail.

Although the more cost-effective Vizio V21 has a wider soundstage thanks to DTS Virtual:X surround processing, it truly is a a lot more compact speaker bodily and lacks the JBL’s muscularity. The Vizio can send audio consequences whizzing close to your home, but the JBL trumps it for house theater thrills — and it truly is all for the reason that of the huge subwoofer. 

As opposed to the Vizio and the Polk, the JBL Deep Bass two.1 sounded the most thrilling when I watched the Thanator chase from Avatar. The bigger sub was in a position to capture much more of the small-frequency consequences — from the pad of the creature’s footfalls to the light roar of the waterfall — and the jungle came alive with insects and working h2o.  Although the Vizio was in a position to make the jungle seem to be three dimensional thanks to Virtual:X, it could not match the JBL for the slam inherent in this frenetic scene.


Connectivity includes two HDMI ports, optical and Bluetooth

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Set up was much more finicky than the Polk and Vizio soundbars thanks to that bigger sub. The single bass button has three amounts, and I felt that it wanted one more step concerning medium and substantial as the major degree was too much to handle. This lack is not an issue with flicks but turned evident when I listened to songs.

On the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ breakout hit Maps, I was not able to get a satisfactory blend concerning the sub and the ‘bar. The medium placing or above was too boomy and the midrange also sounded limp and lackluster. The issue also varied for each track. Transferring from Karen O’s soprano to Nick Cave’s tenor was confident to expose the identical dilemma, I thought, but the JBL really handled Cave’s Crimson Suitable Hand superior, sounding each well balanced and evocative. The bass line was a minimal muffled but unique from Cave’s vocals whereas some soundbars may well smoosh the two with each other.

If you truly want to show off what the JBL can do with songs, pull out a copy of Useless Can Dance’s Yulunga (Spirit Dancer). The soundbar sent the song’s vast stereo consequences, outstanding dynamics and deep, deep bass on the substantial drums.

Really should you buy it?

The JBL Bar two.1 Deep Bass provides a good approximation of your neighborhood cineplex in the comfort of your living home — no mask expected. The lack of surround audio (simulated or normally) is only a minor letdown in comparison with the complete whallop that its hefty sub can put out. If you want a minimum amount of fuss, options and set up occasions then, the JBL provides outstanding audio excellent for a affordable rate.

Rosa G. Rose

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